The Advancing Communities Towards Low-Carbon Energy Smart Systems (ACCESS) project

The electricity supply sector is changing, with an increase in the proportion of electricity coming from renewable technologies such as wind Logo Access projectand solar rather than central power stations, carbon emissions can be reduced but these technologies bring new challenges and opportunities. The Advancing Communities Towards Low-Carbon Energy Smart Systems (ACCESS) program contains four smart grid projects which collectively aim to reduce electricity emissions by 25 per cent, reduce project development time by 30 per cent and lower costs by 20 per cent.

No single organisation has the expertise or experience to understand and adapt to all the financial, technical and governance challenges that will arise from implementing smart decentralised technologies, so several European partner organisations are working together to share knowledge.

Municipality and local authority partners Knowledge and project management
Amersfoort - Netherlands
City of Malmo - Sweden
City of Mechelen - Belgium
West Suffolk Council - United Kingdom
Aarhus University - Denmark
BAX - Spain - Netherlands
IfM Education and Consultancy Services
University of Cambridge - United Kingdom
Johanneberg Science Park - Sweden

VITO - Belgium (project co-ordinator)

The council's contribution - peer to peer trading in Mildenhall

West Suffolk Council’s contribution to the program is a peer to peer trading scheme working with businesses in the Mildenhall industrial estate area. Peer to peer trading is where a business generating surplus electricity, for example from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, can trade their surplus with neighbouring businesses that require that electricity who benefit from lower prices.

The project involves piloting intelligent energy solutions to develop a local smart grid enabling peer-to-peer trading, energy efficiency improvements, new renewable energy installations and energy balancing technologies to alleviate grid capacity constraints.

The specific project aims include:

  • engage with up to 50 businesses
  • use the proposed battery storage capacity from the Mildenhall Hub project for additional storage in the local network plus maximised use of the council funded solar photovoltaic (PV) generated electricity
  • save 600,000 kWh and 250 tonnes CO2 annually
  • 15 per cent energy efficiency improvement across participating businesses
  • assess the potential to upscale deliverables across the Eastern Power Network.

The existing energy supply diagram below shows the unidirectional movement of energy from a power station to local businesses. In comparison, the future distributed energy supply diagram shows how peer to peer trading adds renewable technologies, battery storage and flows of energy and payments between peers within the system. The peer to peer trading is facilitated by an intelligent platform which measures the flows of energy and then calculates payments between businesses.

Existing energy supply
Existing energy supply

Future distributed energy supply
Future energy supply

The benefits of peer to peer trading are that the generator can be paid for the electricity, it can be purchased at a more competitive rate than from a traditional energy supplier and the money stays in the local economy.

If your business is in the Mildenhall industrial estate and you are interested to reduce your electricity costs and carbon emissions, please contact


Interreg LogoThe program is being co-financed by Interreg North Sea Region and will run from 1 March 2019 to 30 April 2023.

  • West Suffolk Council estimated project budget: £711,092
  • European contribution: £355,524 and West Suffolk Council matched funding of £355,568

Please see the full programme updates from all partners for more information.